Office of the DG
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL.
The Director Generals Office is a Directorate, headed by a Director who assists to coordinate the Departments and Unit under the DG’s Office.
The Office of the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission is established by section 5 (1-6) of the National Broadcasting Commission Act Cap NII 2004 as the office of the Chief Executive of the Commission. The Director General is an appointee of Mr. President on the recommendation of the Minister of Information and Culture.
The Director General is a person with vest or wide knowledge and experience in Broadcasting. He is responsible for the execution of policies of the Commission and its day-to-day administration.
Consequently, the organizational structure of the Commission established a Directorate in Director General’s Office to be manned by a Director who is saddled with the duties of helping the Director General to actualize the mandate of his/her Office and by extension, the mandate of the Commission.
THE JOB SCHEDULE OF DIRECTOR, DIRECTOR GENRAL’S OFFICE
The following is the schedule of duty of the Director, Director General’s Office:
- To help the Director-General interpret the policies of Government as they relate to general administration e.g. National Broadcasting Commission Reform Implementation Report etc.
- To schedule appointments/meetings with corporate bodies
- To co-ordinate Departments/Units under DG’s office.
- To handle the administrative schedule of the office in promoting transparency and efficiency in doing business in the Commission in line with executive order 001.
- Liaise with other Directorates, Departments, and Units to facilitate the smooth running of the DG’s Office
- To supervise the staff of the DG’s office
- The Director is a member of the Senior Staff Committee, Tender’s Board and Board of Management of the Commission
- And any other duty that the Director General may assign to the Director from time to time.
DEPARTMENTS UNDER THE DG’s Office
- LEGAL DEPARTMENT
- Liaising with external solicitors and coordinating all Law suits involving the Commission.
- Conducting Legal Searches at the Cooperate Affairs Commission on Companies and organizations applying for Broadcast Licences.
- Vetting agreements involving the Commission including tenancy and other Agreements.
- Initiate/respond to all legal and regulatory issues including policy documents.
- Advising/rendering Legal advice/opinion on legal and regulatory issues.
- AUDIT DEPARTMENT
S.1701 (1) FR Defines Internal Audit as a management control which functions by measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of internal control system in an organization.
It therefore mandates the Accounting Officer (Director-General) to set up an internal control systems, financial regulations, Treasury Circular and other Government Laws, and physically verify the accuracy, completeness and validity of financial transactions and ensure that government receive value for money expended.
THE ROLE OF THE INTERNAL AUDIT DEPARTMENT:
The primary role of the Internal Audit Department of the Commission can therefore be outlined as follows:
- To reassure management that the internal controls put in place are adequate, economical and are being strictly adhered to by all members of staff.
- To identify and draw the attention of management to weaknesses (if any) in internal controls put in place by them.
- To make suggestions to management for improved performance of the entire system and prevention of future shortcomings.
- PUBLIC PROCUREMENT UNIT:
The Public Procurement unit is a creation of Public Procurement Act of 2007 and the Unit is under direct supervision of the Director General who is the Chief Procurement Officer of the Commission.
The Unit also draws its function from the NBC and other Journals and Publications from Bureau of Public Procurement. The activities of this unit includes the following:
- Procurement Planning for the Commission: this include Needs identification of various Directorates, carry out market survey, preparing estimate for the identified needs, determine the method of procuring each items base.
- Procurement Implementation: the activities here include: Placement of advertisement requesting for quotation/invitations to bid, ensure bid security, bid examinations and selections, award of contract to successful bidder, follow up on implementation, the unit also organize Tender Board meetings where we sort and get approval for award of contracts that are beyond the Director-General’s approval. Monitoring of on-going projects, resolve complaints and disputes from contractors.
- Documentation: The unit is responsible for proper documentation of procurement records, safe keep of records and preparation of procurement report.
The digitization of broadcasting in Nigeria is pursuant to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Radio Communication Conference of 2006 (RRC-06) and the subsequent Geneva 2006 Agreement (GE-06), which recommended the transition from analogue form of broadcasting to digital by June 2016, by all countries in the world.
In recognition of the urgent need to set a transition date, the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, and Late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua approved 17 June 2012 as the switchover date or deadline in Nigeria. He followed up this action by setting up a Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) on the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting in Nigeria. The Committee was set up to provide advice on the implementation of the digital transition. The Committee later submitted its report with laudable recommendations.
The recommendations of the PAC report formed part of the Government White Paper on the Transition from Analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Broadcasting.
Some of the important recommendations of PAC Report cover the following areas:
- Adoption of new broadcasting model which involves the splitting of broadcasting services into Broadcast Content Provision and Broadcasting Signal Distribution;
- Restructuring of the licensing framework in the broadcasting sector; to reflect the structure above.
- Management of digital dividend spectrum (DDS); that is money that will come to government from the lease or sale of the broadcast spectrum which may be freed up and become available for telecommunication arising from the digital compression of spectrum.
- technical standards to be maintained in the transition
It also recommended the use of local manufacturing companies to produce set-top-boxes (STB) for the transition among others; radically different from the current trend where the broadcaster does production and transmission.
It was based on the recommendation of the PAC Report that an implementation team was set up and inaugurated by government. The team is known as DigiTeam.
DigiTeam Nigeria is made up of industry and Government representatives to manage the transition, ensure adequate and proper public information, and address issues of consumer interests before the final analogue switch-off. DigiTeam Nigeria is headed by a Chairman, the veteran Engineer Edward Amana.
In Nigeria, the earlier switch over date of 12th June, 2012 wsa not achieved due to a combination of militating factors – First the white paper itself was not released until May 2012, the year that was set date for the transition. This was due largely to unforeseen bureaucratic delays which made it impossible for the Federal Executive Council to consider and approve the white paper.
DigiTeam which was established to drive the implementation of the white paper could not hit the ground running, they couldn’t raise the needed funds which would have enabled them to operate effectively and efficiently. Secondly, conversion from analogue to digital requires infrastructure to broadcast the signals and for each home to have a digital set top box (STB) which converts their TV from analogue to digital. This again requires a lot of funding. According to a survey conducted by the NBC Nigeria requires about 22 million Set-Top boxes to meet the requirements of reaching analogue TV sets owners that will transit to Digital TV.
The white paper states that – an approximate seed funding of 60 billion Naira was required to navigate Nigeria’s DSO, this will include cost of infrastructure, subsidy for STBs, software, training and publicity.
It is important to mention the consequences for Nigeria not transiting from analogue to broadcasting as the rest of the world is doing Firstly, the ITU treaty governs the use of spectrum in each country to avoid neighbouring countries from interfering with each other’s signals. Failure to follow this treaty leaves a country’s TV, radio and mobile signals open to interference and obstruction. In addition non-conforming countries will have limited capacity available for mobile telephony and broadband.
BENEFITS OF DSO
The benefits of the Digital Switch Over are very compelling. The Federal governments idea of Digital Terrestrial Television is one which there is free digital TV service called FreeTV – based on Freeview rather than requiring pay TV subscriptions. Therefore the government is providing support for the FreeTV Set-Top Boxes also called decoders down to an affordable retail price of N1500 ($7,50). (Government plans to raise funding for subsidies and digital infrastructure costs through the sale of spectrum).
- Nigerian viewers will get a great free TV service with up to
30 channels laden with sports –News –documentaries and other programme types for only (N1500).
- ii) Viewers should also be able to receive all pay TV content
through the one STB, if they so desire.
iii) Government (Federal, State and Local) will have an
information outlet to every home through the interactive
news and information service.
- iv) Nollywood will have a safe and profitable distribution channel direct to 20m+ homes through the STB with no piracy risk. This will generate (Naira 112,500,000,000) $250m pa of extra income for Nollywood.
- v) The broadcasting industry and digital economy will grow by (Naira 450,000,000,000) $1 bn per annum through increases in advertising, Nollywood income and value added services. It will uncountable opportunities for jobs in the broadcast industry and other ancillary industries.
- vi) The prevention of grey STB imports will enable Nigerian STB manufacturers to build a thriving industry.
vii) The Nigerian Government will receive a digital dividend of c.$1 bn from the sale of spectrum thereby ensuring that the whole DSO programme is self-funding.
viii) A free press and open democracy underpinned by local content channels especially and some international channels
So far the National Broadcasting Commission has shown commitment to the vision for the whole country to transit from analogue to digital broadcasting through its regulatory functions. To achieve this it has done the following:
1 A total of thirteen (13) local set-top-box manufacturers have been authorised by the Commission to manufacture and provide set-top-boxes for the Digital Switch over in Nigeria. The Companies are: Zinox, Gospel Digital Technology, Innoson Communications Ltd, SMK, Design Build, Digitune, African Decoder Company, I-Box Engineering, TV Enterprises, Trefonic, Media Concepts International, Trend Corp Nig. Ltd and African Cable Television.
Out of the 13 companies only 7 have shown practical commitment by setting up manufacturing plants in the country. They are Gospel Digital Technology (Calabar), SMK (Calabar), Trefonic (Abuja), Innoson (Lagos) ORG – Osogbo and Digitune (Lagos).
2 In a bid to ensure that the signals of various channel owners were compressed into multiplexes and well packaged before transmission to consumers, and to protect the boxes from hacking and piracy the Commission engaged the middleware operator Inview Nigeria limited. Another indigenous company Cable Channels Nigeria Limited (CCNL) is managing the marketing and aggregation of the channels on behalf of the content owners and the signal distributors.
We have also appointed is a Call Centre Operator, The Outsource Company (TOC) to manage the DSO contact centre. The Commission pays the company monthly to maintain 60 call centre agents that ensure communication line is opened to end users enquiries and complaints.
3 The DSO White Paper makes a provision for the provision of a licence for an independent signal distribution operator to be created out of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) using the existing infrastructure invested by Government over the years for deployment of the DTT network in Nigeria. The Company has been created and it is known as Independent Television Services (ITS) Limited. The second company which emerged through an expression of interest and evaluation of bids was Pinnacle Communications Limited. Pinnacle won the second licence and was licensed by the Commission, accordingly.
4 On 30th of April 2016 history was made in Jos with the Launch of the pilot Scheme by the Honorable Minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Alhahi Lai Mohammed brought on board the needed political will and passion to give the Digital Switch Over the required impetus which it has found under the Buhari Administration. According to him at the launch of the pilot in Jos ‘this may well be one of the major legacies that this administration will bring to Nigeria’ It is gratifying to note that the pilot scheme is demonstrating the gains of the Digital Switch over. Viewers in Jos now enjoy over 25 free Television channels. Some News, Sports, Business, Music and many other Genres of programming. The Television services also come with interactive capability and government information services. This is very significant in this era of information and digital knowledge – the right of every citizen to information, access to pluralism of media choices and diversity of content cannot be over-emphasized.
With the successful take off of the Pilot scheme the National Broadcasting Commission rolled out again in Abuja by December 2016. To achieve this Pinnacle communications an indigenous Broadcast manufacturing company was given the task to provide transmission carriage of the over 30 view channels that are on offer in Abuja.
After the Abuja launch, we have rolled out in 4 more states, namely Ilorin, (ITS), Kaduna (Pinnacle), Enugu (ITS) and Osogbo (ITS).
The Commission has embarked on a phased approach to the roll-out. The Commission consciously selected 6 states in the first phase with one taken from one geo-political area. We have again selected another six states for the second phase.
The Commission has so far missed three deadlines set for the actualization of the DSO in 2012, 2015 and 2017 respectively. The Challenges encountered in the process include the following:
Funding was the biggest challenge that stared at the face of the Commission, and by that it means that every other aspect of the DSO project cannot be carried out without funding.
Until November, 2016 when a spectrum was leased out to MTN to the tune of N34b, the Federal Government never allocated any money to the project. Even the Digiteam which is the implementation body set up by the government was not funded. The sittings and other activities of the team were funded by the Commission through its IGR. In fact other activities relating to the migration were funded from the Commission’s IGR.
Publicity: inadequate awareness has been a recurrent issue in the DSO project. There has always been sporadic but un-sustained attempts at publicity. However the Commission is yet to get the requisite funds for an orchestrated campaign but has consistently made the point that the issue of publicity should be a shared responsibility for all stake holders, including the many channels and broadcasters in the country. It is expected that with fresh fund and a synergized approach of stake holders the publicity challenge will be over- come.
Signal Coverage: related to the above is the issue of inadequate signal coverage. Coverage in most states have remained at the state capital. Signal distributors are being challenged to ensure that signal get to the nook and crannies of every state. This will require more transmission sites which need heavy financing. Thus, Signal distributors are anxious to start collecting carriage fees from channel owners to raise more funds.
National Assembly Oversight: The House and Senate committees on information, who have oversight functions over activities of the Commission, have interrogated the DSO process. The House of representative in fact set up an Adhoc committee to review the project. The committee had since submitted its report to the House. Thereafter, the Commission organized retreats and created several opportunities to bring the legislators up to speed on the DSO project. We are so far enjoying good cooperation from the two Committees at the House of Representatives and the Senate for now.
The National Broadcasting Commission has made all the efforts to get the most affordable Set Top Boxes for the Nigerian population, especially given the poverty index in the country (the national average according to the National Bureau of Statistics, is 46.0%). Set Top Box cost is directly related to foreign currency expenditure. This might be difficult to many homes in urban and rural areas to afford, given the economic condition in the country today. Yet the new Set Top Box industry that is part of the Digital Switch Over Process, offers major advantages for all Nigerians, but especially our population in the 36 states of the Federation.
Our research shows that the benefits of this include:-
- Expected 6,500 Direct Jobs in the initial phase by the 13 manufacturers.
- Creation of Surface Mount Technology (SMT), and Chipset Industry in Nigeria, making Nigeria the only country with such capacity in West and Central Africa, and creating a hub.
- Creation of estimated 5,000 Local Plastics Industry Jobs needed for the production Casings for the STBs
- Creation of estimated 1,000 Local wires and cables jobs, needed for the Audio/Video (AV) cables for the STBs
- Creation of estimated 1,000 local Cartons Jobs, needed for the Gift Packs for the STBs
- Set up of In country Digital TV testing laboraties, the only of its kind in West and Central Africa.
- This will not only creates jobs but will also be used by other West and Central African Countries and so earn Foreign Exchange for the Government.
As noted earlier only Gospel TV Calabar has shown concrete effort to manufacture in Nigeria, having set-up an SMT line in Calabar.
There is the need for other manufacturers to accelerate efforts in order to meet the demand of 22 million Homes.
FUTURE OF DSO
Our long-term plan is to carry out a phased roll out, around the country, using the template of going to six states from the Geo-Political Zones, until we conclude the national Transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting, hopefully, before the end of 2019.
Digital Access Fee (DAF): DAF is an access fee that each viewer will have to pay before accessing the free view television channels. This is intended to become the bases for the creation of a National Content Development Fund. This will support Nigeria’s creative and talented young professionals, expected to create the content of the Digital era. So far, DAF implementation started in Jos (April 2017) and Abuja (December 2017) where the one year free access that comes with each box has expired.
The Commission also believes that this is a veritable opportunity for the broadcast industry to benefit from the Radio and Television license fee which the constitution stipulated to be collected by the local governments, a function which they have scarcely performed. The Commission is therefore in liaison with the Association of Local governments, the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria and other relevant Associations for the collection and allocation of this fund.
Availability/ Affordability of Set-Top-Box: A Key issue among several sociological considerations is the factor of availability and affordability of Set-Top Boxes. with a population reaching about 192 million people (according to WORLD METER, the United Nation System world population tracking system), Nigeria would now have to service about 32 million Television Homes. This means that in order to reach the entire population of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we must provide at least 32 million Set Top Boxes (STBs), by the end of the Transition to Digital Broadcasting in Nigeria. This is a huge technical and financial challenge to the federal government. This is the reason why the Commission has sought the Buy-in of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum in the process of procurement and delivery of the Set Top Boxes (STB), as part of the effort to conclude the Digital Switch-over in Nigeria.
We have appealed to the governors to institute a process with our STB Manufacturers who are willing to set up manufacturing plants in their various states. This will provide the necessary impetus to create jobs, and transfer skills to young people. These plants will become the nucleus for other ancillary Hi-tech Industries. The Digiteam Nigeria also holds the responsibility for appropriate pricing of STBs.